Working on construction sites doesn’t have to mean heavy lifting. There’s a whole world of construction management, which oversees and keeps major projects on-time and running smoothly.
Learn how to become a construction manager, what type of Construction Management program you should look for and why to pursue this exciting career.
What Does a Construction Manager Do?
Construction managers are sometimes also called general contractors or project managers. They help to ensure that a construction project goes smoothly from start to finish. Construction managers work on many different projects, including the construction of residential, commercial, and public structures, plus roads and bridges. A construction manager typically helps to plan a project, coordinate the work that will be done on the project, manage the budget to ensure that the project’s cost stays on track, and supervise the project’s overall progress.
There are many detailed tasks essential to keeping a construction project running smoothly, and a construction manager works with many other professionals during a single project. A construction manager might consult with the client to refine design plans and go over the budget. They’ll also work with specialized contractors as well as other specialists, like architects, electricians and stonemasons. Sometimes a construction manager might need to work with lawyers and government officials, like city inspectors, to make sure that a project meets the local regulations and requirements.
While a construction manager might oversee an entire project on their own, some projects are too large for a single person to manage. For instance, when overseeing the construction of an office building or industrial complex, the lead construction manager will hire other construction managers to help share the workload. Each construction manager typically manages a different aspect or phase of the project, but they’ll also all collaborate with the top-level construction manager to ensure the entire project goes smoothly.1
Typical Day of a Construction Manager
A construction manager’s daily tasks can vary depending on the phase that a construction project is in, but in any one day, a construction manager might:1
- Prepare cost estimates and compare them to the project’s budget
- Review contracts and technical information, and relay that information to other professionals working on the project
- Choose subcontractors, schedule their work, and oversee their progress
- Work with architects, engineers, and other professionals to keep the project moving forward
- Review legal requirements and safety codes to ensure the project adheres to all regulations at all stages
- Identify work problems or emergencies and come up with solutions
- Update the client with information about the project’s progress and current budget
Why Become a Construction Manager?
Is construction management a good career? Well that depends on many factors. One to consider is the construction manager job outlook. Construction manager employment projections indicate that this is a promising field to pursue. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), construction manager employment is projected to grow.2
Multiple factors contribute to this expected growth. Population and business growth is predicted to increase demand for the construction of new homes, offices, hospitals, schools, and commercial buildings. National infrastructure improvements may also increase the demand for road, bridge, and sewer system construction projects. There’s also increased emphasis on making existing structures more energy efficient, and this could lead to additional construction projects and construction manager employment opportunities.2